Tennessee Titans starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill grabbed headlines on May 3 when he told Titans media that he did not believe it was his job to mentor Malik Willis, who was one of the top quarterback prospects in the 2022 NFL Draft and Tennessee drafted in the third round.
“I don’t think it’s my job to mentor him,” Tannehill said of Willis, “but if he learns from me along the way, then that’s a great thing.”
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Tannehill’s comments sparked some debate on social media as to whether the veteran QB was out of line with those comments or if they were justified.
Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid was asked about his stance on Tannehill’s comments and cited his own experience with a similar situation during his coaching career.
Andy Reid Backs Tannehill’s Mentoring Comments
Speaking with Colin Cowherd on The Herd, Reid backed Tannehill’s comments regarding him mentoring Willis, explaining the situation quarterback Alex Smith dealt with when the Chiefs drafted Patrick Mahomes with the 10th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.
“I told Alex [Smith], ‘Man, go out and have the greatest year you’ve ever had, and you don’t have to teach Pat [Mahomes]. We’re here to do that as coaches. You’re out there to go produce and win games and do the best you possibly can for your team.’ And so that’s the way we approached it with him,” Reid said on May 6.
“Now Alex, by nature, though, was the greatest thing that ever happened to Pat Mahomes … Alex let Patrick into his world without being forced (into) it … So it worked out. I didn’t have to say a whole lot other than, ‘You go play and go win games, let’s go win a championship, and do the best you possibly can do at the quarterback position.’”
Following the 2017 season, which was Mahomes’ lone season as Smith’s backup, the Chiefs traded Smith to the then-Washington Redskins, which kickstarted the Mahomes era in Kansas City. Since then, Mahomes has been a league MVP, All-Pro, four-time Pro Bowler, has made four straight AFC Championship appearances, two Super Bowl appearances, and won one of them.
Reid Shares Thoughts on Rookie Minicamp
Rookie minicamp for the Chiefs took place from May 7 to May 9. Reid shared his thoughts on how the three-day event went for Kansas City’s young players, and the benefits it provides for them.
“It’s a good foundation for the young guys that are coming back. Not everybody is making the team, obviously, that was out here,” Reid said on May 9. “The ones that are coming back at least in a week, they’ll be able to hit the ground running, know the snap count. I mean, you’re down to the basics: snap count, how to get in the huddle, what the coverages are, fronts. It’s good.”
With rookie minicamp officially over, next up on Kansas City’s offseason schedule is organized teams activities (OTAs), which go from May 25 to May 26. After a three-day break, the team will meet again for more OTAs from May 31 to June 2. Their last set of OTAs will be from June 7 to June 10.
After OTAs, the last time the Chiefs meet before summer break will be for mandatory minicamp from June 14 to June 16.